The epiphanies of turning 30 …

So yes … my last blog post was August last year. It is now June 2015 …. that is nearing the year mark.

First of all, love of my life number two, Oscar the Pugalier …. has been the most wonderful learning curve. That pup will forever believe he is human and dictate which walking route we take each evening. He just celebrated his first birthday !

The other half ( love of my life number one ) got his first big promotion after a lot of hard work. He loves his knew role and I can see his passion each day when he shares his thoughts with me. I am excited for him and know how good he is in his new role.  I cannot wait to see where this takes him. So inspirational.

Myself .. ? I got sick .. really sick. Weeks after my last blog my health declined, weight dropped .. and I could barely wait each day until it was time to go back to bed. It was hard to care beyond what I had to do. Then I ended up in hospital with stupid low potassium levels ( that stuff is painful to replace .. think acid in your veins ) and weird spiking/dropping sugar levels that caused pretty scary seizures. Yup .. 2014 didn’t quite deliver the healthy self I aimed for.

Then came our Bali and Lombok ‘escape Christmas’ holiday … which I went on despite dubious doctors thoughts .. and goodness did that trip heal me. No longer was I sickly Cheryl.  Suddenly we were taking leisurely breakfasts, walking the beaches, taking yoga and mediation classes and sampling the best Indonesian fare .. whilst truly staying in some amazing hotels and boutique resorts. We reconnected with each other .. and ourselves. Here came epiphany number one .. Doctors are not always right. My interest for natural healing and holistic nutrition doubled.

On a side note … I will post about some properties I have stayed at in Bali and Lombok over the last year … I urge you to try these properties, they are so different and unique each way I feel that at least one will resonate with your holiday self … if not all, like me ! Bali is so much more than a cheap getaway for Australians. Indonesia is a very special place to visit – I encourage you to embrace all it has to offer !

Sadly my return home saw my health decline again .. and truly it got me terribly depressed .. and grumpy !!  That centred being with glowing skin ( It really was .. ) that walked off the plane from Bali disappeared almost completely in a matter of a month. What can you do when you can’t even keep your social plans ? I was back to doing the bare minimum … work, eat, sleep. It felt like the walls were closing in again … Doctor after doctor just sent me to the hospital. Miserable … with a capital ‘M’.

It didn’t help that this year I was turning 30 and felt my life was slowly sliding backwards instead of piloting forwards. Where was my high flying career ? Where was my success .. my pulitzer prize, my New York Times review … ?! Ok, I got carried away. Truly though, I once had dreams … and I was back to hoping I could just make it to work for the day .. and through that day for that matter. I didn’t see the point in setting goals or having dreams .. what was the point if you could never reach/achieve them ? I once was a high achiever .. and yet my ‘gumption’ had gone.

Then one day early May I woke up .. and epiphany number two hit . Now this could very well be that our new mattress and pillows finally meant a proper nights sleep or.. that my regular physio sessions were magically helping with my joint and neck pain management .. but I think my mind just shifted. I have become comfortable in my own skin – and isn’t that the magic of growing older ? I am not just my illness. I achieve things every day. I have travelled the world .. experienced many wonderful cultures and will do so till my dying days. I am ok with who I am .. because I have grown and continue to seek ways to do so each day. I strive to be good to others and myself.

With that in mind I felt like I could begin to Blog again. I want this blog to be what I set out it to be. A place of mindfulness, exploration, growth and love of life … now I feel it can.

Sooo here it is .. my new commitment to what is Missy Bluebird. It is not about finding happiness over the rainbow .. its is about enjoying life and marvelling at the beauty, rather than focusing on the battles. I think with this we can all live over that mythical rainbow ! Now … They say things come in threes … so I look forward to epiphany number 3 because its sure to be a cracker !

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Depressed, down and ready to dog out.

10431363_10154392801640241_530075619341810444_oMy last post was in April. I’m sorry .. I say this to myself mainly as I stopped doing something I loved .. actually around that time I stopped doing a lot of things I love.

Here are the facts .. battling constant pain and illness wears you down  – a lot. Especially when there is no certain answer. On the short, Crohns sucks .. I’ve just always maintained within my mind there is so much that could suck worse, but finding a ‘good’ recipe … constantly trying to be ‘good’ only to find next week that was ‘bad’ got old .. very old. Crohns keeps you guessing thats for sure.

Yet …

Top that with having to break away from those  who are meant to love you – ( yer the parentals) and I  guess you get a far less happy Cheryl? Actually you get a depressed one.  Just like many others, there are times I want to sit on the couch, eat something fried, maybe twice fried  ( I am Scottish ! ) and follow it up with ice cream embedded with some sort of cookie goodness ( Oreo is the preference ) and Orange is the new Black.. accompanied with a vodka and Irn Bru ( yes .. Scottish .. ) . Unlike others however it makes me sick, very sick. Confession – I haven’t looked after myself properly since May. Actually from the moment in May I decided that I could no longer be a part of my parents lives .. everything else fell apart. IT HAS BEEN DAMN HARD.  I don’t think I have even gone for a walk, let alone felt I needed to look after myself.

I love my parents despite everything .. and trust me this simply ain’t the forum ( despite my love for FB over-charing) to share ‘everything’ ; but May, in fact a certain early May evening, where shit just got too much made me say, STOP enough is enough. It was the most selfish, bravest, scariest moment of my life. It is now the 13th July, how did that happen .. ?! I miss my mother, I miss .. having family .. but I don’t miss the heartache and truthfully, whilst I harbour guilt, I think it is the best decision I made in a long time.  Yet, yes I am depressed. It feels all wrong.

I am lucky .. I have a loving ‘man-child’  ( meant in the most loving way ) of a fiancé who knows just when to hug me, make me laugh or be a silly sod who makes me feel like the grown up. His latest purchase was a star wars t-shirt .. how can you not love that ? His family are incredible – truly. His Dad gives the best hugs, and his mother well .. I don’t even know where to begin .. she loves me and I know it. How lucky am I ? Thats without even mentioning my beautiful Canadian family .. and truly they are gorgeous !! Yet I am depressed still ..

Early June and I figured enough was enough  and so I had to ask for help from the Gp .. only to be give a tablet that doubled my seizures … thanks. So here I am again sans any medication, feeling sad and deciding that is not good enough.

Its time to remember I deserve to live a nourished life on so many levels. Its time to make more change.

So ?!!

We are getting a puppy from some wonderful NSW breeders .. its been 2 years talking about it and a day ( last week ) of just doing ! Dates aligned and suddenly we have the most adorable responsibility arriving  on the 9th August … a darling male pugalier at that. Name ideas anyone ?

To say it has given me something positive ( despite a recent flu .. yawn ) to concentrate on is an understatement. I feel renewed in my journey to good health .. but after reading some of the crazy ingredients pre-made doggy food it has given me a new challenge too ! Watch here for more !

 

Photo is of my actual wee man !

 

Here is too walking the dog, focusing on good health for our whole family and continuing to work with a wonderful group of people. Life just got a lot more whole. xo

 

Resolving to love 2014.

Well a very Merry Christmas to all and I hope the year 2014 is kind to you 🙂 First a few seasonal shots ! Then a few seasonal thoughts …

I started this Blog for various reasons, but principally it seemed a therapeutic exercise to take part in when things were looking somewhat low. I hoped it would keep me mindful to what is important and perhaps even inspire others to do the same. I think, despite it not being a consistent practice it has helped.  Truthfully the blogging world has opened up my mind and soul to what anyone can achieve .. and has offered a plethora of support and information when both natural health practitioners, doctors and specialists seemed to give me consistently conflicting information !

Now that the doors of 2013 have well and truly closed, I find myself packing away all our Xmas cheer and truly reflecting on the year that has passed. It was a tough year financially, medically and subsequently emotionally. The ups and downs have taken its toll, but I have learnt so much about myself, others and what really matters. Over all I am grateful for what 2013 has taught me and whilst you won’t find me wishing for another year like the last; I am proud of my perseverance and come away with an understanding that healing is far more than the right doctor, right medication or diet. It is about family, friends, love, dreams and adventures. We should wake up each day expecting that something wonderful will happen. No ailment should define us.

Thus I begin 2014 with a strong resolve to make it a happy year, no matter what challenges the universe offers up – I want to dream big and aim for the stars in all aspects of my life. Like so many others I have my resolutions and plans. Sam and I made ours together this year and it was lovely to know we were on the same page. Career takes a strong place in Sam’s as he goes for a promotion, but as I return to more hours at work it also plays a strong part in mine. I am excited to where our careers may take us in 2014. Of course health and fitness is a strong focus and I look forward to our joint Yoga classes ( I am hoping Sam likes it as much as me ! ), continuing to make and eat healthy, locally sourced food. Most of all we will cherish each other and our nearest and dearest more. In 2014 we will be more mindful. We haven’t booked a big trip for the year ( unusual ! ), there is no wedding date set as yet, however I feel more ready and excited about the next 12 months than many of those past! Perhaps it is all about head space ?!

Forgive yesterday, be mindful of today and dream of tomorrow.

So in a final hoorah to the year that was I’ve listed just a few of my favourite things 🙂 Perhaps they may inspire your 2014 ?!

Favourite Things of 2013

Green Kitchen Stories Blog and Book – by far the most inspiring and  family. With such beautiful stories, photographs and recipes I find myself all too often whipping up one of there creations in my kitchen and dreaming of Sweden !

The Healthy Chef – Teresa Cutter – the women who taught me how to bake healthy treats and truly nourishing meals !

Sarah Wilson – I am still on the fence with the entire quitting sugar thing, even though my dietitian introduced the benefits of fructose free to an unheathly gut 12 months ago, I’m not a fan of eliminating anything from your diet entirely. However I do find her story inspiring and her outlook refreshing.

Kikki K – Inspiring , fantastic and simply just pretty 🙂

All things Lorna Jane .. what a women !

Pinterest – honestly its a visual utopia .. and a great distraction/motivator !

Our adventures in New York and amazing getaway in Sydney .. because Travel truly does enrich the soul !!

And last but not least Family and Friends – 2013 was the first time I held my niece and nephew – the two most gorgeous Canadian/Aussies around .. and that has to be one mega highlight !!!

Love and peace to all – and a very Happy New Year xo

Failures, Flukes and Fancies.

Now we are in August the promise of spring surrounds us here in Adelaide. Clothing stores are now filling their shelves with lighter fabrics in brilliant corals and pastels (yipee!), my almond tree blossomed for the first time on Sunday and my mind is beginning to fill up with spring time fancies. Whilst it isn’t quite time to say goodbye to the sneaky red wines, warming casseroles and knitted wear just yet … I find myself beginning to dream of long beach side walks, leisurely cycles, nourishing salads had alfresco and getting stuck in to some serious spring gardening. With spring comes hope – and daffodils !

First Almond Blossom !

First Almond Blossom !

This Winter has proved a wonderfully nurturing time for me. I have taken the last few months to really sit back and think about who I am, what I want and try to change things both inside and out in order to achieve a happier and much healthier me.  Of course there have been many failures, plenty of frustration, the odd successes and down right flukes. I find it very difficult to admit to failure – but let me just say I am not a squatter or a dedicated knitter ! I do love to cook and have discovered a love for new ingredients and recipes… but I am not there yet. I love yoga, but I am still very much the stiff amateur and the idea of becoming a runner …. is still very much that, an idea. I sometimes fail to remember that some foods are downright bad for my digestive health. Sometimes my body just fails, even when I think I’ve done it all right.

Guess what ? My greatest revelation in the last few months is to accept that I can fail. Without failure we cannot grow, learn and improve. Even the most talented of us fail on our road to success. It’s not to be ashamed of ! You cannot fail without trying .. so as long as I continue to try for that happier, healthier lifestyle there will be failures – and I accept them ! I fancy myself to be one day the dedicated Yogi, who shops weekly at farmers markets, runs charity marathons, cooks up deliciously healthy meals, creates artwork with the camera and travels freely and successfully through life. Here is to failure if it gets me there !

A key factor in shifting my attitude has been accepting that which occurs and focusing on turning it in to the positive. In the last week Sam has hit a Kangaroo and damaged the car and his back ( expensive and scary ! ), the dryer has broken, my stomach has went from good to bad and I had a less than successful work week. 6 months ago I would have been a mess of tears after a week like the this one. However, our normally high electricity bill was in credit (total fluke !), in light of the dryer we have decided to renovate the laundry and are finally getting a new washing machine with our tax return ( yes !! ), in a bid to help get the digestive system back on track I forgo Friday night’s creamy mash and discovered roasted cauliflower ( OMG – you must try this recipe ) and with budget/health in mind Sam and I finally visited the Adelaide Farmer’s Market on Sunday – check out the goodies !  🙂

Of course much of this positive outlook ‘stuff’ has been hard work ( and yes I some times fail ! ). A deliberate focus on reading blogs, magazines and books filled with inspirational messages, helpful information and people I aspire to has had a definite impact on my outlook and in turn overall health. I’ve made it a habit to talk to and surround myself with positive like-minded people and try to steer away from negative behaviors. In actively placing visual reminders around the home and yes even my recent time consuming obsession with pinterest ( you can follow me here – so much fun ! ) I can get back on the positive bandwagon even on the worst days. Slowly things are improving in the health department and I honestly feel this is of a direct result to me outlook. I plan to add a page to the blog sometime soon ( I have technical difficulties with blogging! ) with links to websites/blogs/books/people that have/are helping motivate and teach me. But this week it’s all been about Lorna Jane and her incredible pinterest boards ( see obsessed .. ), T2 Tea ( Chai and Tummy Tea = LOVE ) and using seasonal vegetables to create some simple nourishing meals.

I would love to hear about what is inspiring you to lead a positive and healthy life !

Love, travels and the road ahead …

Sam (the fiance) and I have begun sorting through our photo library of late with the idea that I can start posting my travel shots on here and also to endeavour to get a few more on our walls at home! It has been so amazing to reflect on the journeys we have been on together and remember that even though I have often traveled with health issues in tow we have experienced, concurred and eaten our way through many a continent. It is a re-energising and inspiring experience to de-clutter our travel pics and have only the best shots and moments left to remember.

Of course before Sam and I met one another we had done a great deal of travel (and living) overseas already. Work often offers us (namely Sam .. ) opportunities to travel without one another too. Yet somehow it is those adventures we have experienced together that resonate the most. I guess when you find that special person seeing the Empire State building for the first time or defying death zip-lining through Thai jungles without them alongside, simply isn’t the same. It’s kind of a odd feeling when you realise this. Before meeting Sam I was one independent lass, destined to never settle down and to lead the gypsy life! I suppose that means I have met my travel soul mate …

Our love for adventure and need to document it complement each other. Sam is the map reader, I am (being the foody and art fiend) the avid lonely planet reader. My incessant need to ride a bike with a basket (and bell !) has seen us almost hit by a Parisian bus, frozen  soaked to the bone in Vancouver and following complete strangers aimlessly through Amsterdam’s canals. Our jobs have us cram in the must dos, but we so often will have a whole day of wanderlust in each new place. We walk everywhere we can. From hostels, to castles, to six star plunge pool bungalows we’ve stayed there. I always need a market, Sam a roller-coaster.

Course there has been some disasters too …broken toes, mystery rashes, infected wounds, wrong airports(another post maybe), cars without headlights and that’s just naming a few .. but now most of these are just funny stories to share.

Yesterday was Sam’s 35th birthday and after an afternoon seizure (in the work toilets non-the less) I simply was not up for our planned evening out together. Yes I spoiled him with gifts and kisses and a night in with some good Thai takeout was fun … but I felt I’d let him and US down. Now as I write this I see this is just another phase of our journey together; another adventure.

I have actively made the decision to not book another overseas holiday for a while – namely because we need to save for a wedding (or in my mind an epic round the world wedding/honeymoon).Yet also because I want to be in that much healthier and happier place when we next set out on an overseas adventure. There is so much of the world to experience together and I cannot wait, but for now my energy is all on living actively, enjoying each moment and getting well. It’s nice to have my travel soul mate along for the journey  … xo

PS. We are exploring Sydney together in September … can’t leave it too long between plane rides.